Our Approach to Virtual Learning
In March of 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we went into a full virtual learning mode as a whole school. One of the unique things about our approach was our ability to be extremely agile and adaptable during this transition.
As a result, we are proud to say that we were able to continue a full work load and our students received little to no interruption in their academic progress.
As a small and inclusive community, we are proud to be able to offer a distance learning program that provides rigorous academics and individualized support to our students. Our teachers have done an incredible job transforming their curriculum and lessons to be more conducive to online learning. Teachers are available for support outside of the classroom during daily Office Hours and Flex Period blocks that are scheduled throughout the week.
Our Class Schedule
Our school schedule is designed to balance the needs of our students, parents, and teachers. After many hours of thoughtful planning, research and multiple surveys to students, parents, and faculty, our Academic Team has developed a class schedule that can toggle between all three possible learning scenarios. Whether, on campus, distance or in a hybrid learning scenario our students will follow this class schedule. Key features include consistency of times throughout the week, flexible periods for student support, block periods twice a week, and built in screen breaks throughout the school day.
Schedule Highlights Include:
- School hours will be 8:30-2:55pm M, T, TH, F. We will have early dismissal on Wednesdays, 8:30-1:40pm.
- Our class schedule will remain the same regardless of what learning scenario (distance, on campus, hybrid) we are doing.
- Flex Periods will be incorporated throughout the week. They will be used for student academic support, social emotional programming, student activities, exercise, student counseling, & campus ministry.
- Lunches will be 45 minutes
- We will have 15 minute breaks in between classes with 2-3 classes and one flex period per day.
Changes to Grading
In order to provide equitable access to academic success for all of our diverse learners, we have implemented several shifts to our grading approach this year.
- Grades will be more focused on student mastery of intended student learning outcomes, and less focused on non-academic factors such as effort, participation, and behavior.
- We will increase our focus on designing summative assessments that are aligned with student learning outcomes and include these in student grades with redo/retake opportunities
- We will move away from assigning grades for formative assessments, which should serve as practice and not mastery. Instead, we will increase our focus on providing feedback through formative assessments.
Healthy Safety Highlights Include
- Masks are now required as part of our dress code.
- In person classes will be limited to comply with proper social distancing guidelines.
- Classrooms with an overflow of students will be separated into two different rooms and the teacher’s lesson will be live streamed between the two spaces.
- The campus will be equipped with hand sanitizers and electro spraying machines.
- Additional water heaters are being installed.
- If necessary, on campus access will be limited to certain grade levels and closed for outside vendors/visits.
While on campus, we will be following county guidelines regarding physical distancing protocols. If a class size is too large to safely accommodate one classroom, they will be divided into two rooms and the teacher will be livestreamed into the second room. The second room will be supervised by a proctor. Example: